Thursday, August 19, 2010

Guest Blogger John Heydinger: "Last Note from the Last Frontier"


Out surveying vegetation in an area wetland last week, I was introduced to the cloudberry by a friend and co-worker.

Now, I have next to no botany experience and generally wouldn't trust myself to grab an assortment of tasty-looking foliage and include it in my diet. However I was assured that we on the Kenai Peninsula are in the midst of berry season, and the summer is drawing to a close.

So with a slightly used yogurt container in hand, I set off across the bog in search of my quarry. The cloudberry itself looks like a multi-berry explosion and goes by the latin name rubus chamaemorus meaning something along the lines of "grounded mulberry". When ripe they have a pale orange color and can only be described as just this side of tart; the sort of delicacy that takes a couple of tries before you develop a taste for it.

Searching along the spruce outcroppings surrounding our bog I was able to pluck enough cloudberries, and to my wonder and surprise, blueberries, to make up the bulk of my lunch. Returning to my work in the afternoon I inquired to my knowledgeable friend about the prospect for making my own cloud and blueberry jam. After a ten minute explanation involving implements such as cheesecloth and ingredients like pemmican, I decided that perhaps the whole process was a little more than I wanted to undertake in my last week in Alaska.

I guess I just don't have what it takes to go native up here.

It is getting colder up here (though it was never particularly warm to begin with) and nights are taking on a decidedly darkening pallor. (That is to say that night is actually becoming night-like for the first time in months.) Already there is an unmistakable aura of autumn and that is my cue to exit, stage south. The bears have retreated from the salmon streams and are gorging themselves of berries for the coming long, dark cold - the kind of place that a true Minnesotan might feel right at home in their despondent Lutheran Winter, when all anybody can do is not complain and hope that things will get better. Though unquestionably a Minnesotan, I have no patience for such Midwestern virtues, for I have seen places where the sun shines everyday and do not wish to resign myself to our particular brand of fatalism.

The bears are going away and so shall I.
We each make our retreats
to more comfortable climes;
they to there dens, and me back home.

Thanks to the Last Jew Standing for encouraging these posts over the summer.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Guest Blogger Jill Bernard: "I Was A Leaf"

Jill Bernard is an improvisor and a jar of olives. She likes living in Minneapolis although she does travel around the country, mostly to places where they don't have a lot of improv. She is my friend, and not only when she's coaching me organic improv. She eats organic improv because it's raised without harsh pesticides and the improv is treated humanely.

The following occurred yesterday, Friday The 13th. Jill woke up and was a leaf hanging from a tree. After realizing what she had become, she was confident in her place in the world, as a leaf, ne'er to be shaken from her given tree.
No one was around except the other leaves and the tree, but legend has it that this is what happened.

"Autumn is for assholes.
That'll never happen to me.
Imma stay on this tree.

Man, it's getting windy.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Like Sands Through the Hourglass, this is The Epic Live-Tweet of Days of Our Lives

holy shit! everything's coming together! days of our lives!
about 1 hour ago via TweetDeck

according to the internet...

Faithful viewers have been watching Days of Our Lives since it debuted on November 8, 1965. Days takes place in the fictional midwestern town of Salem, with most scenes shot at University Hospital or the Brady Pub. Today, Salem is home to the respectable Horton and Brady families, as well as the evil DiMeras. Since the show debuted more than 40 years ago, matriarch Alice Horton has been portrayed by award-winning actor Frances Reid. In the 1980s, the "Salem Stalker" and "Salem Slasher" brought romantic adventure to the forefront, while in the 1990s, Dr. Marlena Evans-Black (Deidre Hall) was possessed by the devil.

Thursday, August 5th, 2009

when i see commercials for Vagisil, I wonder: would the world accept the product "Penisil"? How about Penisillin?
about 2 hours ago via TweetDeck

comforting to see the exact same intro as when the show premiered...also wishing LBJ was still president, because maybe this show would make some fucking sense in the context of The Great Society.
about 2 hours ago via TweetDeck

Sierra: "mommy? why aren't you coming back?"
about 2 hours ago via TweetDeck

mommy: "mommy did something wrong. I am very sorry. Sorry that I didn't believe what you told me about the wallets and mommy's lipstick."
about 2 hours ago via TweetDeck

"I'll be back someday." -Sierra: "Mommy, is someday a long time?" -Mommy: "I think so." Obvi. These are the days...of our lives....
about 2 hours ago via TweetDeck

I hope the guy who wrote the score for "bum bum BUMMM" gets royalties every time DOOL uses it
about 2 hours ago via TweetDeck

creepy nun in a hospital, moonlighting as nurse, i can only assume
about 2 hours ago via TweetDeck 

“dr.” scott: (scared woman behind curtain,) your surgeon relies on me and my input. open the curtain for me and let's take a look.
about 2 hours ago via TweetDeck

hair-gel addled Brady: I want to talk about this five million bucks. -Shannon: "there were lots of other men, men that I loved, but not the way I loved you."
about 2 hours ago via TweetDeck

Shannon: "you even forgave me for switching Mia's baby with Sammy's. give me one more chance, Brady." Yeah, Brady, give her another chance.
about 2 hours ago via TweetDeck

every commercial during DOOL assumes viewers have either a. asthma b. overactive bladder c. massive debt d. all of above. All caused by watching DOOL? How can it not be?
about 2 hours ago via TweetDeck
dr. scott is just trying to "see" the woman behind the curtain. something's fishy here. musical score reaffirms this.
about 2 hours ago via TweetDeck 

we’ve reached the half-way point, and Sierra still has been given no clear answer as to why mommy is going away
about 2 hours ago via TweetDeck

what is this goddamn nun doing in a hospital? What is she, some kind of nun-nurse hybrid? There's no catheter training at the Convent, last time I checked
about 2 hours ago via TweetDeck

dr. scott: miss, do I know you? if we've met, this will not change how I assess your condition. I get a sense you want my help. about 2 hours ago via TweetDeck

alright, Sierra. mommy's gotta go. mommy, go and do your time. for serious. just do it. Let's all just move on from this.
about 2 hours ago via TweetDeck

Brady: "that's great that you love me, Shannon, but i want you to do something special for me. Come down to the police station with me."
about 2 hours ago via TweetDeck

Grandma: "whatever is going wrong, i know damn well it's your fault Bo!"
about 1 hour ago via TweetDeck

Brady's being a real dick about Shannon bringin' in 5mil through illicit means. Get down from your Axe Body Spray infused Ivory Tower, Brades.
about 1 hour ago via TweetDeck

Grandma really having a hard time matter what though, it's Bo's fault. Fucking Bo.
about 1 hour ago via TweetDeck


nameless detective: "he's committed some mean stuff. i'm talkin' life in prison kind of stuff." -Brady: "sounds crazy." -detective: "yeah i like it, myself."
about 1 hour ago via TweetDeck

fuck yeah! Beggin Strips commercial! That dog's on bacon-crack! BEGGIN!
about 1 hour ago via TweetDeck

Jesus f-ing Christ, Sierra. mommy's gone, get over it.
about 1 hour ago via TweetDeck

And so it ended. Wasn't expecting a cliffhanger ending to this episode. Suppose that's how the show keeps going for 55 years. 'Til next time, Brady, Shannon, Mommy, Sierra, Bo, Grandma, Detective, Dr. Scott, grossly misplaced Nun, and frightened woman behind the curtain. Continue to keep it real.